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Fox Hearts “Joe The Plumber”

Reported by Priscilla - October 21, 2008 -

With appearances on Hannity, Huckabee, Fox&Friends, and an interview with Neil Cavuto, Joe (really Sam) the Plumber is certainly getting his “15 minutes” of fame. He was the topic of conversation on Friday’s (October 17th) Fox Special Report Panel. The gang was oh so upset that poor Joe was being “attacked” by the evil, liberal press. The poor-maligned-republican-as-victim whine was promoted by the moderator Bret Baier and his panel who, in keeping with the RNC talking points, defended their new American “everyman” hero.

Baier’s first question was just full of irony: “Charles, Joe has been under attack. Reporters are in his background, his personal story, and some people saying he was never vetted by the McCain campaign. This guy asked a question outside his house." I say irony because the right wing has investigated everyone and everything that has ever had a connection to Barack Obama and prominent Democrats.” The most egregious example of the right wing attack machine was the attacking done to the family of 12 year old Graeme Frost, a boy who gave a Democratic radio address which supported the extension of the child health insurance SCHIP. Frost’s family were able to handle Graeme’s medical bills, incurred as the result of a car accident, through SCHIP. Graeme’s family finances were scrutinized and attacked by the usual right wing haters. Republican Rep. John Boehner said Frost was being used as a human shield. But wasn’t John McCain doing the same thing when he invoked Joe the Plumber’s name constantly, during the debate, and continued to do so until it was revealed that Joe the Plumber’s story began to have some leaks.

Krauthammer’s response was laughable: “Well, here is a single dad who is working hard. He doesn't have a license. A lot of my colleagues in punditocracy practice psychiatry without a license. I don't complain about that.” Would Krauthammer (an M.D. who is board certified in psychiatry) also say that doctors don’t need licenses? Barnes wanted to know why the “media is attacking” Joe and explained that Joe is saying “I want to tax the productive people in America more so I can give some of that money, whatever my priorities are, to people who aren't as productive and aren't paying any taxes in the first place.” (Comment: I think Freddie was putting words into Joe’s mouth and the words in question reflect the right wing message that taxes = welfare = blacks.) I found it interesting that Barnes supports a working class person because it wasn’t that long ago that Barnes equated working class with low class! When Mort Kondracke injected some reality into the discussion with the statement that “he doesn't make $100,000 a year. He would not have a tax increase under Obama. If he started a business, a small business, he would get more help from the Obama programs to get his business started than McCain would give him,” Barnes said, “oh, please.” When Kondracke noted that “Joe” has a tax lien on his house, Krauthammer pulled out a total non sequitor, “if having a lien on your taxes is a reason to be ruled illegitimate, Charlie Rangel, who just paid nine times as much in back taxes, has no standing to talk about tax policy.” (Comment: who said anything about Rangel? And just because another person does something inappropriate doesn’t justify you’re doing it. I thought Republicans were all about obeying the law. You can bet if an Obama supporter, who had tax delinquency problems (or any other legal issues), confronted McCain, there would be a hue and cry about it!) The discussion then moved on to the electoral map (not looking good for McCain).

Comment: The choice of “Joe the Plumber” as an American icon is a little problematic; but you won’t hear much about it on Fox. (thank you, Mort for providing a little counter-point). But Fox is doing all they can to keep John McCain from going down the political toilet.